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Gary Lipinski to retire as leader of Métis Nation of Ontario

The president of the Métis Nation of Ontario is retiring from politics.

Gary Lipinski has been at the forefront of the fight for recognition of Métis people in Canada

Metis Nation of Ontario president Gary Lipinski says he will not seek re-election this May. (Nicole Ireland/CBC)

The president of the Métis Nation of Ontario is retiring from politics.

Gary Lipinski, who hails from Fort Frances, has been involved with the organization since it was founded more than two decades ago.

Lipinski said he got into politics to fight for the recognition of Métis harvesting rights.

One of the most memorable moments of his career was signing a historic agreement with the province in 2008, that would shape the relationship between Métis people and Ontario.  

"For me it took us out of an era of denial, of non-recognition of Métis and Métis rights, and laid the foundation for a new relationship with Ontario going forward," he said. 

After two decades in politics, the president of the Metis Nation of Ontario is retiring. We catch up with Gary Lipinski in Fort Frances. 10:13

Lipinski — who has been the head of the Métis Nation of Ontario for eight years — said he now wants to spend more time with his family, and on the land.

"If you're a northerner ... the north is in your blood. And I want to be able to get out in the land a bit more and enjoy the beautiful north we have with family and friends," he said.

"So it's a great time to pass the torch."